Assuming you watch TV news or read a local paper, you may have heard about a dead man in Florida named Rudy Eugene who berserkered on weed and attacked a bystander, Ronald Poppo. A street person in his 60s, Poppo apparently did not know what hit him. The autopsy showed only marijuana in Eugene's system, but the police initially suspected a synthetic or designer drug called bath salts (technically, methylenedioxypyrovalerone) since, apparently, this drug has caused bizarre behavior in some. (I take everything the Associated Press says about street drugs with a grain of salt -- just not that kind of salt.) To put it bluntly, Rudy Eugene went chupacabra on poor Poppo. You remember the urban legend of chupacabras don't you, the goat-like or half-goat, half-man creatures that were mutilating livestock in the Mexican deserts? But the autopsy ruled out bath salts, LSD, and synthetic marijuana (aka "potpourri").
Now, I must suppose that marijuana use might conceivably bring out a violent streak even in a person known, as Rudy Eugene was, by family and friends, as a non-violent, nice person with a cheery disposition and friendly attitude...or so Eugene was described. I have been a heavy user of alcohol -- got off it 18 years ago and have no interest in ever drinking again, as bad a crutch as Jesus. I started smoking weed in the wild 60s in L.A. where it was delivered door to door. (We had our own studio dealer when I worked at Paramount. He had Thai sticks and Tibetan temple balls.) I can tell you as a person of authority that the personality of a zonked pothead is Dr. Jekyl; the same personality on alcohol, Mr. Hyde. (Some actually claim that Stevenson was using the split personality as a metaphor for dipsomania.) Booze makes people nasty, hurtful, snarly, creepy, hard to get along with, and paranoid. Pot might make an amateur smoker paranoid, and hey, just because you are paranoid doesn't mean no one's out to get you. But pot mellows and pacifies. It is alcohol that should be illegal; alas, we tried that and it did not work.
Rudy Eugene literally ate a lot of Mr. Poppo's face off. (They probably will make a movie about it and call it Face Off.) I mean, this is something a bear might do if you got lost in the wild and came upon her with her cubs accidentally, or even a chupacabra, should you encounter one of those. (I've been all over Mexico and I never saw one.) The story said Poppo was horribly disfigured. Think of that poor woman whose friend's chimp got frisky and brought on about 158 skin grafts. I got to read the AP story a little further and laughed hysterically right there in a local eatery, the San Luis Mexican Restaurant, spitting out half of my taquito, sending chorizo and egg across the table. I could not believe my eyes! The writer was calling this crime inexplicable, and since the police shot Eugene to death, we will never be able to ask him what it was that, to quote his brother, "triggered" such behavior. Well, my God, there is was!:
"Eugene's friends and family have said he was religious."
Martin, I've been part of the medical mj movement a long time. Dr. Lester Grinspoon of Harvard Medical School recently emailed me that Connecticut has just become the 17th state of decriminalize medical mj.
Some years ago, I arranged a radio interview with Lester by a friend of mine, Lynn Thompson, who moderated an internet radio talk show. Lester was recently retired from being Dean of Harvard Medical School of Psychiatry at the time.
It’s a podcast now. Quite educational and informative. After listening to it, your readers will see clearly than any association between grass and the chupacabra you mention is ridiculous. In fact, that booze and cigs are legal, from a health point of view, and mj illegal, is simply nuts.
We could not agree more on this issue.
Aahh! The "Great Prohibition"...and I'm not talking about the prohibition against alcohol in the 1920's and 1930's. I'm speaking of the very first prohibition of all time; that took place in the "Garden of Eden!"
According to the great fairy tale book...the bible! God inforced a prohibition on Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. They were not allowed to consume the fruits from the Tree of Knowledge. And, this all powerfull and all knowing god couldn't even make prohibition work then...and there was only two people on earth at this time! Prohibition never works; it is just a way for government to create jobs to chase a religious agenda! Plain and simple.
Then, the realization that great wealth could be made by legalizing alcohol and then religious agenda's went right out the door. But, religion has found a way to profit from the legalization as well...it may not be so much in the form of a monetary value; but, definetly they have preyed on the weakness to gather the minds of the afflicted---and round-up the flock for religion!
Jeff, do you know the story, possibly apocryphal, of Joseph Kennedy arranging with politicians to get prohibition passed, then arranging with, e.g. the Scots to keep distilling their marvelous usquebaugh but ship it to Canada instead of the U.S., where the father of JFK would stockpile it and either (depending on who you ask) sell it to organized criminals or warehouse it until, a bit later, he paid more politicians to repeal prohibition. This is reportedly the way he made his millions. (He may have been the model for Gatsby, one suspects.) I once played poker with a guy of Irish extraction who despised the whole Kennedy clan and griped about how 10 cents of every fifth of scotch went to their bank accounts. I suspected he only felt this way because he thought Scotch should be cheaper at the liquor stores he haunted and whose proprietors welcomed him by his first name. I'll say one thing for Joseph K., he was always a very good Catholic. The truth of this is told in the least-liked but best of the Godfather movies (III): the RCC is a bunch of thugs who only grant God's forgiveness to the profit of the Vatican, the locus of the Mother of All Evils. The RCC was the earliest gang in the religious grifting rackets to figure out that -- as L. Ron Hubbard put it -- the fastest way to wealth is with a religion.
I attempted to edit the above but got "frozen up" on the "Saving...." time out and lost a line or two. One point was that Catholicism is the earliest modern religion to catch on to the con. I then reminded the believer rhetorically about Zeus and Jove. Christeranity is living on borrowed time.
James, good post on Joe Kennedy. You disturbed a few acrimonious memories in me going back to Catholic high school when JFK was elected. Needless to say, the Christian Brothers were elated. Such a fine Catholic boy from a fine Irish family. What stuff that comes out of the south end of a bull.
Hypocrites, thieves, con artists, liars, rakes, (let’s see, what else can I call ‘em) oh yeh, prejudicial scum bags. One more, pro-Hitler antisemites.
Here’s a bit of history you might not be aware of: A friend of mine Liam (Irish for William) said the family’s initial windfall was made by Joe’s father P.J. Kennedy, a Boston pol and wheeler dealer who provided the Union Army with fresh recruits right off the boat. The going rate paid for enlisting was 50 bucks, but nobody knows how much P.J was paid by the army. There might have been a hundred thousand soldiers passing through the Boston ports. P.J. got here in 1840 so he was a citizen and should have been the one to fight; instead he got rich off the Civil War calamity by sending his countrymen to die.
What a disgrace to the Irish people. Did you know that Joe was the first chairman of the Securities Exchange Commission? It’s fuckin’ crazy.
One more: JFK was one of the biggest rakes and womanizers of all the presidents. He’d go to Europe and screw anything that walked; then come back and kiss Jackie so tenderly. Hypocrite fuck, and then he’d go to church.
The irony is that when JFK became president I was 16 and proud to be Catholic. He was my hero and during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis I was ready to sign up the next day.
To be fair, JFK did back the Civil Rights Movement. I give him that.
Mr. Martin and Mr. Goscicki... thank you both for the education on this subject! I love learning new things everyday! And, I am pushing that big 5-0; and still learning!
Knowledge and the comprehension of that knowledge even makes old men feel young again!
Here's one for you: on the Today Show they interviewed the young woman who lost her hands and forearms to flesh eating bacteria. The Dad, sitting next to th Mom, was asked what things might be said to parents in a similar situation, and this guy actually said, "Pray a lot." Yeah, that was the first thing out of his mouth and the top of a list of things. I am sure, Jeff, you can see the failed logic of prayer. If something comes to pass as a result of prayer it is not necessarily because you prayed, and if it does not come to pass you can take hold of a crutch and proclaim, God works in mysterious ways. I like the late William S. Burroughs's take on prayer. He said, "Pray in one hand, shit in the other -- see which one fills up faster."
I did see that "Today Show" broadcast! I was thinking the very same thing as well. Everyday I am more and more flabbergasted and amazed at the overall ignorance of the religious. I am discovering that my own tolerance for the belighted and stolid mind-set of the xian community!
These are the same people; the same mind-sets running our country, controlling our financial institutions, educational systems (both primary and secondary; public and private), legislative and judicial departments (local, state and federal).
I now have a heightened sense of detecting the xian propaganda machine. My radar is stronger than ever and the screen is full of little blips! Since, my discovery of Christopher Hitchens and the acceptance of atheism; my eyes are wide-open instead of "eyes wide-shut"!
I really don't believe that I'm going insane from my recent enlightment of my realty. The insanity is materializing from the level of ignorance that I'm surrounded by in terms of the religious co-dependency.
“These are the same people; the same mind-sets running our country, controlling our financial institutions, educational systems (both primary and secondary; public and private), legislative and judicial departments (local, state and federal).”
Well said, Jeff. Concerning education, consider this excerpt from Mirror Reversal:
It’s like we’re still livin’ in the Dark Ages. Our high schools are bad. Urban schools are so tough that most families with any money would rather pay high tuition for private or parochial school than free public schools. What’s that tell you? And the religious schools act like the kids are there to learn orthodoxy, when the real reason is that the kids just want to escape the violence.”
The above is taken from my personal life. It’s a self-perpetuating system. In high school, I once considered Rudy Guiliani a barely average student. I beat him in chemistry, bio, and eleventh-year math. But I got Ds in religion twice and that prevented me from getting into Queens College, part of the free city university system. The clerics control who moves up in the college ranks and gets “leadership” jobs. I used to argue with the brothers all the time, but Rudy was the biggest brown nose, ass-kisser you can imagine.
I’ve said it often on this pages: These religious bastards have too much power and throughout history they achieved it in devious and sinister ways.
Rudy Giuliani is an embarrassment to the human race.
Who quits learning quits living.